Economic Gloom Gets Personal

When people bemoan the state of the national economy, the saving grace is that they’re usually more upbeat about their own finances. While that remains true, a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll finds plenty of personal economic anxiety. Twelve percent of respondents categorized the current state of their own finances as “very shaky,” with another 19 percent saying they’re “fairly shaky.” Sixteen percent said their financial condition is “very secure,” with most of the rest terming it “fairly secure.” The could-be-worse news for marketers is that just 24 percent of respondents expect to be spending less “on purchases” six months from now than at present, not greatly outnumbering the 20 percent who expect to spend more. (The rest think their spending will stay as is.) In the $100,000-plus income bracket, though, “spend less” beat “spend more” by 25 percent to 14 percent.